Pea Ridge Students Plan And Manage Store To Learn Business Skills

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PEA RIDGE (KFSM) -- For the past week, Pea Ridge High School students have managed their own small business inside the school.

The Nest is the name of the business where students and parents can purchase Blackhawk gear and cups of coffee.

Tiauna Young, the students' business teacher, has watched them grow as businessmen and businesswomen since the store's ribbon-cutting.

"Their minds are changing constantly," she said. "They are figuring out 'Oh, maybe we should do this or we need to do that.’ They are thinking of things and taking the initiative to take care of the store without me having to say 'Tatum I need you to do this. Robbie I need you to do this.' They’re staying on top of it like it’s their own store.”

Many of the students said they did not have any previous experience in the retail business. Senior Wyatt Weber said the only thing he has done that comes close is selling items on Craigslist.

“This is like as real as it gets without being out on your own and taking all those big risks that could cut you down," he said.

Senior Tatum Richardson said they started at the bottom a year ago.

“We created our own business plan," she explained. "We actually got all the sales together, we did everything, so it’s a really good learning experience.”

Richardson said the most difficult thing they had to do was come up with a pricing plan that would make the store profitable. So far they've learned that they do not need to worry about running out of Blackhawk gear, but they do have to keep plenty of coffee in stock.

“At about one o’clock, we just have this big pulse of people come in here," Weber said. "We can’t hardly keep up. I mean it’s just like serving five, six people a minute we just can’t keep up hardly.”

Young said the students have made little mistakes since the opening, but it's all part of the learning process.

When the store starts to make a profit, the money will go toward school athletics and sending students to various business conventions.